Silence the Sounds of Pertussis

Keri Russell: Protecting Her Newborn From Pertussis

Keri Russell

Actress Keri Russell first burst on the scene playing the lead role in the popular television series Felicity. Since then, she has gone on to an award-winning career in television and film; however, her most important role came in June 2007, when she and her husband Shane welcomed their first child into the world.

Here Keri talks about life as a mom and her part in the national educational campaign, “Silence the Sounds of Pertussis.”

"Preparing for my role as a mom was a little overwhelming. There was a lot to think about.

"I learned that pertussis, or whooping cough, has been on the rise in recent years, even though it is a vaccine-preventable disease. Following the birth of our son River, I spoke with my pediatrician about what I could do to protect our young child. She recommended my husband and I both get the pertussis booster. My pediatrician explained that parents actually cause more than half the cases in infants, which is why it is so important for adults and adolescents in close contact with infants to be immunized.

"I’m partnering with Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases (PKIDs) to raise awareness about the importance of booster shots for new parents and people who come in close contact with infants. Like any parent, I would do anything to protect my baby, and that is why I followed my pediatrician’s recommendation to get the pertussis vaccine myself. I’m very excited to be working with PKIDs to spread the word and help other parents learn how to best protect their babies from this deadly but preventable disease."

No role has been more important for Keri in her career than motherhood. After learning the importance of vaccination, both Keri and her husband received the pertussis booster, in order to make sure that their child is protected until he is fully immunized. Russell gives voice to the “Silence the Sounds of Pertussis” campaign through a national public service announcement, which begins airing in October 2007.


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